Alexandra Seglias (Denver Botanic Gardens)

Nicola Ripley (Betty Ford Alpine Gardens)

Brittany Roberts Marshall (Betty Ford Alpine Gardens)


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Alpine ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The Denver Botanic Gardens are seeking to protect rare species from these regions, banking seeds from multiple Alpine populations by maternal line. However, collecting seed from these remote areas comes with multiple challenges. Seed production is dependent on the previous year's winter weather, there is a short window for flowering and seed setting, the phenology changes rapidly, and many sites are difficult to reach.
After gathering seed, researchers at Denver Botanic Gardens perform germination trials and grow seedlings to be reintroduced. Plants are also added to the living collections at Denver Botanic Garden and the Betty Ford Alpine Botanic Gardens to further preserve these rare species.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Thursday, May 21, 2020

Jennifer Ramp Neale, Denver Botanic Gardens

Alpine plants are at risk of population decline and/or extinction due to climate change. Understanding these plants and the environments in which they survive and thrive involves a multi-tiered approach including in-situ and ex-situ efforts. At Denver Botanic Gardens we are working to collect and study seed of alpine species for ex-situ conservation. Expanding our impact on conservation of alpine habitats, we have partnered with Betty Ford Alpine Gardens to lead the development of a North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Plant Conservation. Modeled after the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation and the larger Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, the four objectives and twelve targets presented here will guide collaborative efforts to document, study, and ultimately conserve our fragile North American alpine habitats.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019